By Hon Micah Kigen
TO All LEADERS,
C/O Respective Voters
January 01, 2019
MY YEARLY UPDATE-FAILED LEADERSHIP AND SELF-CENTREDNESS BY ELECTED LEADERS HURTING INNOCENT RESIDENTS.
Receive my very warm greetings and best wishes for the New Year 2019. Congratulations for braving it through the challenges of 2018 which are now behind us. We thank God for the gift of life into the New Year and pray for his blessings and ability to work for prosperity.
As we enter the new year, I as the “People’s Watchman” in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, invite all and sundry to join hands in confronting a deep-seated leadership crisis which has made our people destitute and exposed them to vagaries of under-development, socio-political exploitation and hopelessness. Our people are not children of a lesser God to suffer this curse.
I am actually talking about obvious failed leadership whose consequences are afflicting our County. However, the problem is more pronounced in the Keiyo side of the County. It is very urgent that a solution is found.
In Keiyo, though our sons up in the Civil Service; notably Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett are trying hard to uplift residents, lack of a supportive and enabling political leadership back home is undermining their efforts.
Political leadership in Keiyo is drowning in the miasma of confusion, disunity and disharmony. The people have been abandoned to fate, guesswork and their own designs. Wananchi have nobody to go to with their problems. They are fumbling in the dark, like a people in the wilderness as if they did not elect leaders to serve them.
Wananchi expected synergy and Unity of purpose of all elected leaders from the Governor, Senator, Women Representative, and Members of Parliament and all the way to MCAs. Instead virtually all of them, except Governor Alex Tolgos who has been striving to uplift residents’ welfare, retreated to selfish pursuits and individual enrichment, totally abandoning voters as if they are not elected to serve locals. It is a sad and regrettable political culture introduced by the late Nicholas Kipyator Biwott.
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen whom many expected to offer leadership and unite the leadership in serving residents has turned out to be the worst in neglecting the people. Indeed people just hear of him when he appears on Television talk-shows. So much such that many are referring to him as a “Viusasa Senator”. He started off purporting to be in the Kitchen preparing goodies for the people. But for the six years he has been in that kitchen, nothing is trickling down to wananchi who elected him. They only see him on TV addressing and championing national issues and other matters concerning other regions.
The other elected leaders have swiftly copied this “Biwott syndrome” as mainstreamed by Senator Murkomen. Hence, the many problems afflicting our people, including historical ones have been left unattended. Wananchi’s problems including the time bomb of youth unemployment, insufficient transport infrastructure, shortage of education, health, sports, entertainment amenities, nil investment in value addition to local agricultural produce and industrialization have been worsening.
So much such that we are missing the type of quality, pro-people leadership last enjoyed in Keiyoland during the tenure of Honorable Stanley Kurgat and Senator Joseph Chemjor. Other past professionals, senior residents, self-made wealthy farmers and leaders who assisted wananchi and exemplified servant leadership that we dearly miss today include: William Murgor, Micah Cheserem, Lt. Gen John Sawe, Honorable Elijah Sumbeiywo, Willy Chirchir, John Kiboki, Kimwatan Kabulyot, Athanas Kandie, Tiren Kite, Chepkonga Maina, Mzee Kamar and Mzee Masit among others.
We all know that that good naturedness and free will to support and upgrade our people came under attack and got buried after Biwott took control of Keiyo leadership. Under him past problems were totally neglected and new ones created including land grabbing, displacement of people from their farms and grabbing of the people’s resources like forests, Kenya Fluorspar and Fluorspar land compensation from the national government, among others. Even the local landless who were genuinely given excised Forest land to settle and farm were never given title deeds until the new government after Daniel Arap Moi cancelled the allocations. This despite the victims having been tricked by Pro-Biwott Chiefs to part with their hard earned money for processing Title Deeds. Very inhuman robbery.
He purged hard work and pro-people interaction by the well to do and only promoted sycophants and people supporting him blindly. He disoriented and antagonized pro-people professionals, homegrown wealthy philanthropists and leaders into silence and retreating away from serving the people.
Just like the Biwott era leadership, some of today’s leaders have taken to giving wananchi false promises about development projects and also grabbing public resources for self-enrichment. For instance Senator Murkomen and Keiyo South MP Hon Rono have secretly enrolled as directors and owners of a Company incorporated outside the Country and bulldozed it to be contracted to revive and own Kenya Fluorspar Company. Now they are going round cheating our unsuspecting people that they have brought in foreign investors to revive the company and help locals. This is crafty grabbing of public resources by pretense.
Also there are issues of roads and other public projects which the elected leaders used to dupe voters to endorse them during elections yet the projects were mere white elephants that would not be undertaken. One such major project is the Nyaru-Iten road which at election time in late 2017, Senator Murkomen launched with a lot of pomp, claiming that it would be tarmacked. Immediately after elections it has turned out it is just a murram road and there are no funds nor plans to tarmac it. The Chinese contractor with his derelict equipment left on the road is to continue giving locals false hope that the project is still on. Bad politics of deceit!
Due to this “Biwott syndrome” style of leadership our people are abandoned. Professionals, farmers, business people, opinion leaders, grassroots leaders, youths, women, artisans and local entrepreneurs are on their own, surviving the hard way.
Who bewitched Elgeyo Marakwet, especially Keiyo? This leadership crisis is due to a bad culture that has been entrenched to date. It is now a cancer, eating, destroying and killing our community. Like all curses we need some cleansing to stop it.
Keiyo people suffer many challenges that require able, responsive and united leadership to tackle. The challenges include:- insecurity, joblessness, health and education provision challenges, dwindling fortunes in agricultural and industrial production, cattle rustling, inter clan cohesion challenges and insufficient infrastructure among others. Of these challenges some can be tackled by the national government but with serious input and pressure from the local leadership, others by the County government while others can be tackled through Members of the National Assembly using the resources at their disposal like the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). MCAs also have a role.
There is coming a time soon when those of us not having the big platforms our elected leaders are failing to utilize well will summon the people to demand services and leadership. I will stick with the people and the suffering majority including over sticky issues like the Kenya Fluorspar scandal. We deserve better as a people. Especially from our elected leaders.
This is a major warning to those concerned, shape up urgently or else wananchi will demand you ship out! The people elected you to work for them. Why aren’t you working?
HON MICAH KIGEN
ODM CHAIRMAN ELKEIYO MARAKWET COUNTY & PEOPLE’S WATCHDOG